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Abu Dhabi family reduces debt for Manchester City

While many of the English Premier League's top football clubs enter 2010 laden with debt, Abu Dhabi's ruling family has ensured Manchester City is not one of them. The club announced on Tuesday its family owners have converted £305 million of loans into equity before buying shares of just under £90 million, effectively removing a large proportion of the club's debt.

Sheikh Mansour's investment provides a marked contrast to Manchester City's rivals across town, Manchester United, where the owners, the Florida-based Glazer family, are currently looking for a way to refinance the club's £669 million of debt. The Glazer family purchased the club in 2005 and borrowed significant sums in order to do so. 

Investing in sports clubs, especially English Premier League football clubs, has proved immensely popular with UHNW families. Sheik Mansour (pictured) and Malcolm Glazer sit alongside Premier League owners such as Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea, and American businessmen George Gillett Jr and Tom Hicks, who own Liverpool.

Gillett and Hicks have also struggled with the debt they picked up when buying Liverpool FC. Gillett was forced to sell his share in the Montreal Canadiens in June last year in order to finance a £576 million repayment. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

Sheikh Mansour completed the takeover of Manchester City in September 2008 and has since made headlines for his spending at the club, including the record £32.5 million purchase of Brazilian striker Robinho.

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